Tim Shaw, former Tennessee Titans linebacker living with ALS, writes inspirational book, “Blitz Your Life”

Former Tennessee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw’s unexpected diagnosis of a life-altering disease did not stop him from finding hope and advocating on behalf of those faced with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. From participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to living life to the fullest, Shaw’s story is one of hope not only for people battling ALS but for anyone aspiring to be more. “Blitz Your Life” (Jan. 3, 2017) is a story of overcoming fear and living life with a purpose.

Written with Belmont University associate professor Richard Sowienski, “Blitz Your Life” shares the way Shaw and the people in his life have changed each other for the better, challenging readers at the end of each chapter with a call for self-evaluation. With interviews ranging from leading entrepreneurs and business leaders, to musicians, to athletes, Shaw’s book shows how each and every person affects the people around them and calls each reader to set their bar a little higher and push a little harder to pursue their purpose—even when it seems impossible.

Whether you’re a football fan, battling difficult times or simply seeking inspiration, “Blitz Your Life” reaches into the hearts and minds of readers to tell them they’re made of more than their circumstances.

Former linebacker TIM SHAW’s seven years in the NFL included seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chicago Bears, and the Tennessee Titans. A graduate of Penn State, he also holds an MBA from George Washington University. Now an entrepreneur, Tim is a frequent speaker and supporter of ALS awareness. Blitz Your Life is his first book.

RICHARD SOWIENSKI is associate professor at Belmont University and directs the first undergraduate Publishing Program in the U.S. He’s held a variety of writing and editorial jobs, working for Better Homes & Gardens, Raising Teens, Country America, Successful Farming, and The Missouri Review. He and his wife Rola call Nashville home.


 

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If you’ve ever dreamed of something more in life, this book is for you. Blitz Your Life is a collection of reflections and challenges from a former NFL linebacker who is living life fearlessly.

These powerful stories range from Tim’s time on the football field to the radically different life and goals that resulted from his diagnosis with ALS in 2014. Tim also shares stories of ordinary people who have faced everyday challenges and accomplished extraordinary things. Through his “whiteboard challenges,” he provides practical help takes readers on a road to success. From his NFL days to his support of ALS awareness, this fighter’s message is a courageous call to find and enjoy a life with purpose.


 

An Interview with Tim Shaw

This is a 2013 photo of Tim Shaw of the Tennessee Titans NFL football team. This image reflects the Tennessee Titans active roster as of Thursday, May 30, 2013 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

What inspired you to write “Blitz Your Life”?

I knew that my life experiences were unique and I wanted to use those experiences to impact people in a positive way. I’ve actually known I was going to write a book for about 10 years, and I’ve always enjoyed writing. And I also wanted to do something that would last for a long time, not just be relevant in today’s day and age.

What message do you want people who read your book to receive?

I want people to embrace who they were made to be, as well as their unique gifts and talents. And with that, I want them to pursue a life that is full of passion. I want them to know that life is meant to be lived on purpose. Through this, I believe every reader can reach their maximum potential.

How has your ALS diagnosis changed your perspective on life? What would you say to others going through the same challenge?

ALS has really brought my focus to the things in life that matter the most, and more so eliminate those that don’t matter as much. Because of that I have been able to enjoy every day and make choices based upon what is most important right now, each and every day. To those experiencing similar challenges, I would tell them to focus on what’s most important. If they could choose the most important action all the time, then they will have no regrets.

How has your faith shaped your journey as a football player and ALS advocate?

My faith is my foundation and the thing that I can always count on to be there in good times or bad. With that, I was able to pursue football with all my heart. And now, with ALS, my faith has allowed me to utilize my diagnosis in a positive way, as I see this as an opportunity to reach and impact even more people than before.

Why did you include challenge sections at the end of chapters? What do you hope people will learn about themselves from them?

I don’t want people just to think about what I’ve written. I want to inspire action. The challenge sections will hopefully allow readers to ask themselves the hard questions and then transform their answers into meaningful change. By taking a closer look at who they truly are, I hope these questions lead them to the strength, courage, and clarity needed to live their life of purpose.

This is unlike a typical memoir in that you include interviews from Nashville-area business people and entrepreneurs. Why did you decide to include those?

I don’t consider this a memoir. My life has been blessed by others, so I feel it’s more impactful to share lessons from various walks of life. We all have a purpose to live. Your life is shaped by the people around more than you realize.

For people wanting to inspire and encourage others, what advice would you give them?

Be yourself. The most impactful people are authentic people.